I don’t drink alcohol, personally, but I do feel like my lemongrass and ginger addiction is a good ninety percent of the reason for my divorce.
“Give me a goodbye kiss, husband,” my wife would say, as she was about to leave for work in the morning. But I barely heard. My morning lemongrass and ginger was so flavourful, so tangy, I couldn’t tear myself away.
“Let’s sit together on the sofa and watch a romantic movie, my beloved,” my wife would say. But I could not. The lemongrass and ginger would simply not allow it. It consumed my whole life.
So now I love on a boat, having supplies brought to me by another boat. No lemongrass and ginger, obviously. Most of the people I see are marine steel fabrication experts, Melbourne based, and very lovely people. The sea salt of the earth, you might say. They perform the steel fabrication I so desperately need, and I say thank you.
I ask if they perhaps have any lemongrass and ginger tea bags in the office. They used to have a picture of me at every single marina with a big sign saying ‘NO LEMONGRASS AND GINGER FOR THIS MAN’. Now, they know me. “Jeremy,” they say, shaking their heads. “You’re clean. You’re happy. We aren’t about to shove you off the wagon, so don’t even bother asking next time.”
But I still ask, every time. It is a ritual between us.
We have fun, me and the people who fix my fishing rod holders. Most of my time I spend alone, however. It’s just me and the sea creatures. Sometimes I’ve thought about learning how to fix my own bait boards, but then I’d have no reason to come back to shore. My only human connection at the moment is when I go to see the snapper rack people, so without that, I guess the only person I’d see is Old Man Gilligan, the fellow who brings me my tea every month. Darjeeling, obviously; if I didn’t at least have that, I’d be back in Melbourne in days, swilling the addictive brew that ruined my life. Haven’t seen Gilligan in a while, though.
At one point, I’ll need a new stainless steel snapper rack fitted, to allow me to keep living on fish. The welding yard will come into view, as it always does, and I’ll smell the faint scent of lemongrass and ginger. I certainly hope I’ll always be able to resist the temptation.